Monday, September 7

Candied Pickles

I picked about 50 cucumbers out of my garden last week, at least half of which, were the huge ones really too big to eat. My neighbor found this fun recipe called candied pickles to use up these big cukes! Not all my pickle eaters like them, but I think they are yummy!! They are a pretty red too, so they will be a nice garnish on a plate, especially around the holidays.

It is a little involved, but nothing you can't handle.

But do read the recipe over carefully before you start and make sure you have all the ingredients. Some are a little harder to find.

Candied Pickles

2 gallons (about 32 cups) cucumber rings
2 cups pickling lime
1 cup and 4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs red food coloring
1 Tbs alum
12 cups sugar
8 cinnamon sticks (in the spice section)
2 -10 oz pkgs of candied red hots (I used cinnamon hearts)
2 drops cinnamon oil (This really is a specialty item here, I had to order it online. My neighbor had her sister send her some.)

Day 1 - Peel cucumbers, then slice lengthwise in half. Scrape seeds out with a spoon and slice 1/2 inch crosswise.

Mix 2 cups pickling lime with 2 quarts water. Pour over cucumber rings and let stand 24 hours. (use a crock jar or a porcelain turkey roasting pan, do not use aluminum or stainless steel - the lime does a number on them.) This process makes the cucumber rings crisp. This did not completely cover the cukes, it didn't seem to matter. I just tried to pour it over all of them.
Day 2 - After 24 hours, drain rings and wash well in cold water. Put back in pan, then add cold water to cover cucumber rings. Let stand for 3 hours and drain.

In your pan mix together the following: 1 cup vinegar, 2 Tbs red food coloring (my neighbor used a dab of her cake decorating cream and 1 Tbs red food coloring. I used 1 1/2 Tbs food coloring because I didn't have quite enough.), 1 Tbs alum, cucumber rings, and water to cover rings. Heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Let stand 1 hour and then drain. (This is kind of like dyeing eggs, but we're dyeing the cukes.)

In a pan, bring the following solution to a boil:

4 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
12 cups sugar
8 cinnamon sticks
2 - 10 oz bags candied red hots
2 drops cinnamon oil

I had to stir constantly to get the red hots to melt and not stick to the bottom.

Pour this solution over the rings and let stand overnight with a tight fitting lid.

Day 3 - Drain the solution into a pan, heat it to a boil and pour back over rings again. Cover with lid and let sit for 24 hours.

Day 4 - Same as day 3.

Day 5 - Same as day 3.
After you do the same as day 3...

Sterilize canning jars and bands. (I ran mine through the dishwasher.)
When jars are hot and ready, bring rings and solution to a boil, While still boiling put in sterilized hot jars with hot lids and seal. (I filled the jars pretty full with rings then poured the liquid not quite to the neck. I just barely had enough liquid.) Cover with a cloth until cool.

Makes about 14 pints or 7 quarts.
I made 1 1/2 recipes so I ended up with 10 quarts and 1 pint. I wasn't sure if you could half the recipe, but it seemed to have worked and tasted just fine.

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